How to Hire a Virtual Accountant (A Quick Guide)

Rahul Maingi

By Rahul Maingi, Jun 25, 2020

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Do you think the best way forward for your company’s growth is to hire a virtual accountant? Doing so will allow your company to take advantage of the convenience and efficiency of cloud computing. Additionally, you avoid wasting the time and resources needed to hire and train in-house accounting staff.

But what’s the best way to hire one? And how will your business benefit?

Our experts answer these questions below so you can find the correct fit for your company.

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How to Hire the Right Virtual Accountant for Your Business

In this post, we outline how to hire a virtual accountant. But first, let’s find out what virtual accounting is all about.

  • What Is Virtual Accounting?

Pretty obviously, it’s where an accountant offers their services virtually rather than working in an office physically, albeit with more benefits. With virtual accounting, both business and accounting professionals enjoy more flexibility in terms of time and resources.

Here are the best ways to hire a virtual accountant for your business.

1. Look for Experience in Remote Working
Working remotely is an appealing idea for many, but not everyone can do it well. It requires discipline and dedication, and some people require co-workers and a manager to keep them on task. When hiring a virtual accountant, it’s best to hire one with a proven track record.

2. Find the Right Fit for the Job
There are more freelance accountants now than ever, from experienced executives to new graduates. So, how do you pick the right one?

Ask yourself: what are your company’s goals and requirements? Look for candidates with professional certifications and provable experience. If they don’t feel like the right fit, keep looking.

3. Establish Time Tracking
Virtual accountants are rarely considered actual employees. They’re generally thought of as contractors and don’t adhere to any set schedule. Neither do they receive company benefits or have taxes withheld like full-time employees.

In order to properly pay them, you need to establish some means of tracking their time. Some companies allow contractual workers to report their own hours while others employ time tracking tools to make the process easier. These trackers record the productivity of remote workers, including virtual accountants, and monitor their activity. This could include periodically taking screenshots of their screen, among other measures. This is a great way to document their work practices and offers a clear view of the tasks your accountant is spending their time on. It’s also a more accurate way to ensure your money is well-spent.

4. Seek Efficiency With the Latest Software
Like other professions, accounting is being transformed by technology. New tech allows accountants to efficiently accomplish tasks while giving them deeper insight into their clients’ finances. That’s why it’s vital for your virtual accountant to stay on top of industry-related technology and software.

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The Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Accountant

Here are four ways in which hiring a virtual accountant can be a boon to your business and accelerate growth.

  • Convenience

Whether you’re looking to generate financial reports, coordinate your accounts or reconcile your credit card/bank statements, a virtual accountant can do it all while helping you save time.

There’s no need to go through the tedious process of recruiting, hiring or training someone new. Instead, you enjoy instant access to trained, experienced and qualified accountants and can choose one based on your financial needs, be it part-time or full-time.

Additionally, you can get your pending work done quickly, as virtual accountants are generally available 24/7. Top ranking virtual accounting apps are easy-to-use. Apps like Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Xero and Wave are relied on for accurate and transparent results.

  • Cost Efficiency

You don’t need an accountant to tell you that lowering costs equals greater profitability.

With virtual accounting, you sign up only for the services you need. This means you only pay for what you need without wasting money on additional services. When you hire an in-house accountant, you pay them a full-time salary along with benefits and CPP.

When you hire a cloud-based accounting service, you don’t need additional floor space or supplies which saves your business money you can spend elsewhere.

  • Fast Response Time/Instant Access

Hiring a virtual accountant frees up time you can use to pursue and improve other parts of your business. With faster access to financial data, you can make informed decisions more quickly. When looking for financial consultation on business decisions, a virtual accountant is just a few taps on your smartphone or clicks on a computer away.

  • Data Security

With a virtual accountant, there’s no need to worry about data security. We understand businesses need to keep financial data secure and it can be difficult to completely trust someone to keep it safe. This can be a problem when a business’s accounting is outsourced.

However, virtual accountants require access to your organization’s financial data, either from a local computer using a remote desktop protocol (RDP) or from your cloud. This means that none of your data is transferred and it will remain completely under your control. The information is encrypted, ensuring that confidential data remains safe from any threat.

There are many benefits to a virtual accountant, but your decision ultimately comes down to your company’s needs, goals and resources. If you’re considering hiring one, make sure you conduct thorough research and look for a reliable outsourcing service provider suitable for your company. Hopefully, this short guide helps you hire a virtual accountant suitable for your needs.

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